Randolph Bunnell is a copywriter and marketing specialist. He also has a medical background and runs Skin Answer blog, where he shares helpful healthcare tips.
“Never judge a book by its cover” sadly the principle doesn’t work much with web design. Poor design averts you from getting better results even after using the best optimization practices.
The world is going digital at a very fast pace, and people have changed the way they conduct business. More consumers are turning to the internet looking for a product or service they need every day. According to a study, 97% of consumers research online before purchasing a product. As a result, a lot of businesses are shifting their brick-and-mortar stores to online stores to get a piece of this pie.
However, many of them are making web design mistakes that hurt conversion rates. So, if you are wondering what you have been doing wrong and should avoid, you are in the right place. Here is a list of the six common design mistakes that will cut off your conversion rates and tips on how to deal with them.
1. Designing without a purpose
The first step you should take when developing your web design is redefining your goals. Every business website has a goal that is unique from what another one wants. When you design a website without your goals in mind, you are doomed to hurt your conversion rates from the start. Designing without a purpose only leads to increased bounce rates due to the lack of clear paths leading to the desired goal.
Bearing that in mind, you need to design your website according to what you want to achieve. Have a clear and concise goal in mind before creating a website design. Ensure that the design you choose is tailored towards that ultimate goal. Remove designs and features that are unrelated to the goal, then replace them with designs that support your goal.
2. Bad Call To Action buttons
If you thought CTA was all about leaving a modest CTA button on your site, you thought wrong. Most websites kill their conversion rates from the word go because their CTA buttons are either missing, unclear or unnoticeable. CTAs not tailored to your website goals will also hurt your conversion rates.
So, think about your website goals. Is it to gain more followers? Get an article shared on social media. Make a sale? Or get a subscription? Include CTAs that precisely tell your visitors to take that desired action. Ensure the size and position of your CTA buttons are hard to ignore. Make the buttons stand out from the rest of the content,, and you will gain more traffic and sales.
3. Annoying pop-ups
Another web design mistake that kills conversion rates is website pop-ups. There is nothing more hated by visitors than pop-ups. However, this is not to say that pop-ups aren't a good thing. When done correctly, they can help increase conversion rates, especially if your goal is to grow your email list. As the saying goes, too much of a thing is poisonous. Some practices adopted in web design make pop-ups annoying. Here are some that you should avoid:
- Using pop-ups that fill the whole page. They block a visitor's view of what they were previously reading;
- Relying on pop-ups only as a method of increasing conversion rates;
- Failing to time them in the right way;
- Creating those that are confusing to close;
- Prompting them too often, and
- Triggering pop-ups even after a visitor has expressed disinterest in what they offer.
These practices drive your visitors away from your site, thus killing your conversion rates. Do it right by putting yourself in your visitor's shoes. Use small but attention-grabbing pop-ups.
Combine them with other features that increase conversion rates, such as links and CTA buttons.
- Know the appropriate time to pull up a pop-up and ensure its delay time is also reasonable;
- Introduce many ways to close a pop-up ad to reduce visitors' frustrations;
- If a visitor doesn't want anything to do with a pop-up, respect that decision.
4. Problem with the website's performance
Poor-performing sites will lead to more bounce rates than conversion rates. To be exact, Google found out that 53% of visitors will leave a site if it doesn't load within 3 seconds. 3 seconds! That is the window of time you have to get a potential customer to continue viewing your website. Nevertheless, you will find website designers making the mistake of including complex features without taking time to consider how they might affect the load speed.
Don't let the constantly shifting web trends and visual options blind your focus on your web design performance. Test the website's load speed every time you adopt a new feature. You will know what features to remove or add to contribute to seamless website performance.
5. Lack of mobile optimization
Today, more people surf the internet on their mobile phones than on desktops. As such, having a mobile-friendly website is more crucial than ever before. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, you're cutting yourself off a high percentage of conversions you would be making.
Optimize your website for mobile devices by ensuring the design you choose looks good regardless of the screen size that is used to access it. The content should be playable on smartphones. CTA buttons should be clearly visible to mobile users. Use the correct font size, and visuals should be optimized for mobile devices.
6. Confusing navigation
If you are on a website that is difficult to navigate, you will most likely abandon it. Unfortunately, many web designs have a tendency to use confusing navigation that visitors find difficult to take the next step. As a result, potential customers leave the site reducing your conversion rates. Confusing navigation might be a result of the following:
- Wrong menu list order;
- Use of drop-down menus;
- Using generic labels;
- Wrong positioning of the navigation menu.
Make sure your navigation menu is uncomplicated and easy to understand. Avoid lengthy navigation labels. Make it simple and straightforward. Strip back your menu to include essential items only. Remove menus that are likely to confuse visitors. If possible, you should research your target audience's preferences and buyer journeys before building a navigation menu plan. Your website goal remains a factor while building a navigation menu.
Effective web design is a powerful business tool that has the ability to increase your conversion rates in the most incredible ways. Today, people are more unforgiving and impatient than ever. Competition is also stiff. Thus, you can't risk making any of the above mistakes while designing your site.
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to solve your web design issues. It is time to redesign your website in case it has any of the listed mistakes. If you are starting out, then avoid making these mistakes. Design the website with a purpose. Build uncomplicated navigation menus. Use clear, goal-oriented CTAs and pop-ups. Finally, optimize your site's load speed and responsiveness.
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